Schroeder and his wife Penni moved to Greenwood Village, Colo., to run the Great Harvest Bakery following a 34-year-career pastoring Mennonite Brethren churches, including nine years as moderator of the U.S. Conference.
“If anyone is sick or anything is broken, it’s up to me,” he told writer Kathy Heinrichs West in a recent interview. “Like right now the yogurt machine isn’t working right. Every day there’s something like that and it all lands on us because we are the owners.”
Schroeder, 60, has learned the craft of making bread from staff who are in their 20s. On the main baker’s day off, he gets up at 2:30 to make bread, kneading by hand with staff by 7 a.m to produce the daily allotment of 150 loaves.
The job has its delights, he said. “I enjoy making sure my workers have all the tools and products they need. And I love the chance to be generous. When a homeless man comes in, I can make him the biggest sandwich and give it to him for free. When you own the store, you don’t have to ask anybody.” ◆